Monday, September 2, 2019

Quintessential Summer

Summer is turning to fall overnight, but I'm far from ready for the change of seasons. There are too many quintessential summer pleasures I missed out on. That's all right; I managed to preserve a few in this little quilt. 

Like a good summer berry pudding, the quilt has been macerating in its own juices since way back when. You may remember it from here

The recipe is simple: 
-Cut strawberry reds and lemon yellows into 2 1/2" squares. 
-Add equal parts garden fresh gingham and calico. 
-Sprinkle with a pinch of polka dots. 
-Embroider to taste. 
-Toss and sew!

My friend, Ruth, finished the project for me. She employed the "BigStitch" quilting technique, using #8 perle cotton in a buttery yellow color. I love how her stitches catch the light!

She quilted a cable design in the daisy print border.

What else would there be on the back but more strawberries!

All in all, it's a yummy little quilt that will always feel like summer to me. 

Strawberry Patch
15"x 17"

*Google "Big stitch Jo Glover" for instructional videos. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Scenes of Summer

How was your summer? Mine was filled with extraordinary moments shared with extraordinary friends!

Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Color surprised me with this remarkable gift -- one of her signature batik colorwash quilts. Read more about it here

It hangs where I can enjoy it every day.

Quilting friends brought plenty of "show and tell." They encourage me to "think quilts" even though I can't sew anymore.

Foody friends shared the bounty of their gardens and kitchens: fresh picked cherry tomatoes and basil, delicious peach cobbler, and the best blueberry pie I've ever tasted!

Local troubadour, Bill Glaysher, entertained me with song one fine afternoon.

Which enabling friend helped make this fabric purchase? The colors and prints were irresistible.

I asked a bookish friend to read aloud to me. It was bliss! Gwen Marston’s The Magic Forest 

My friend, Linda, hosted a beautiful bridal shower for her daughter and son-in-law to be. What lured me out on a 97 degree day was the promise of mango mimosas and eight different kinds of cake. It did not disappoint!

My friends share so much of themselves with me. By summer’s end, they had me convinced that I’m worthy of love, respect, and the occasional niceties of life. That's the best gift of all!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

At Last!

What a welcome sight -- a glimpse of spring, shared by my friend Debbie from her neighborhood in Geneva, Illinois. These are crocuses, often known as the "heralds of spring" because they grow while there’s still snow on the ground. 

I love the way these hardy little blossoms blanket the landscape with purple, lavender, yellow and white. They spread with abandon through the grass, creating a crazy quilt of color.

Crocuses remind me of a Dutchman’s Puzzle quilt I bought years ago. What originally drew me to it were the gently faded fabrics, 1940s prints in springtime colors.

The quilt is lightweight and soft from years of use - perfect for sleeping under on a cool spring night.

It's hand quilted with small, even stitches in simple designs--outline quilting in the pieced blocks... 

and a teacup pattern in the muslin squares. 

I don't generally go for pastel quilts, but maybe we all become fans of the softer hues when the weather warms up and the flowers are in bloom. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Midwinter Blues

As I age, I become more grateful for my February birthday. Having something to celebrate in "the bleak midwinter" helps keep the blues at bay. This year, there were so many cards, phone calls, messages, visitors, gifts of coffee, flowers, and tasty treats that I never had time to feel sorry for myself! Thanks family and friends for making my birthday special.

Barb and I continue our traditional swap of doll quilts (or the like) on one another's birthdays. This year's quilt from Barb is called "Midwinter Blues" and was originally designed by Lori DeJarnatt of Humble Quilts for her 2014 blog sew-along. You can still get instructions for making the quilt at the following links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Finale.

Barb's fabrics are exquisite, aren't they? Have you ever seen such deep saturated blues? And the variety of cheddar prints makes the quilt sparkle.

She also chose one of her favorite designs for the quilting—an overall teacup pattern, machine stitched with silk thread. 

Want to guess what's on the back? It’s always a surprise.

If you look closely at the label, you'll see the special secret this quilt holds. Barb originally made it for our dear friend, Mary, who has passed. Now she's entrusted it to me. Thank you Barb. I’m honored by your gift!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

“Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!”

Happy holidays everyone! I hope this finds you well and looking forward to a brand new year.

For those of you living outside the purple zone on the weather map, it’s bitterly cold here, with single digit temperatures and double digit below zero wind chills. That’s breath-taking cold. Bone chilling cold. FROSTBITE COLD! Jim has kept his "arctic" expeditions to a minimum, braving the elements only to trek down the driveway for mail or to shovel snow. Each time he opens the storm door, it whines in icy protest as if to ask, “Are you sure you want to venture out today?” 

I'm keeping warm under a cozy new quilt that my friend, Mary Conley, gave me for Christmas. "The blocks might look familiar," she whispered, as she placed it in my lap. Indeed they did! They were red and green nine patches I'd abandoned years before when I first started sorting my life into projects worth my energy and those that were not. 

Apparently, Mary saw more potential in my castoffs than I did. She saved them and stitched them together almost 20 years later, returning them to me as this finished quilt! 

I love the homespun plaid she used as an alternate fabric, and the coordinating red check on the back. It's quilted with a swirling, blustery, wind-like design. How appropriate!

Mary, I'll cherish this quilt and think of our friendship whenever I sleep under it, which in this weather will be just about every night

Friday, July 21, 2017

Will Strip for Fabric!

Hi everyone. Hope you're keeping cool this summer. I get so lethargic and irksome in this heat. Most days, it’s hard for me to do much more than nap! 

My Piecemaker friends, Sheila and Kathy, found photos of quilts made from the Kaleidoscope fabric exchange I described in my previous post. It’s fun to see how different the quilts turned out. Enjoy! 

Oh, and here’s our friend, Patt, dressed as a stripper because... well... how else would you dress for a "strip" swap?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hey, Macarena!

It’s been a while since I posted a bona fide, start to finish, sewn with my own two hands kind of quilt. I had to go back 20 years to find one, but this Kaleidoscope pretty much fits the bill.

Are you surprised to see a pastel color scheme from me? Generally, I don’t use soft colors. Here’s how I managed to collect such a wide variety. My Piecemaker friends swapped fabrics to make these Kaleidoscope quilts. Each of us cut six yards of pastels from our own collections into 120 strips to share with the group.

On the day of the swap, the tables were piled high with pastel fabrics of all sorts. We paraded around the room to the festive rhythm of “Macarena,” eagerly snatching a strip from each table we passed. With all the laughter and fabric flying, we looked like a crazy Conga line or game of Musical Chairs."Hey, Macarena!”

For my quilt, I chose colors and prints reminiscent of the 1930s. After sorting and sewing strips together, I cut eight segments for each block using this 45 Degree Kaleidoscope Wedge Ruler.  (It includes directions for block and quilt construction.)

I had fun coordinating the colors within blocks... 

but, I like the scrappiness of random fabrics just as much.

Nothing went to waste; leftover strips found their way into the scrappy border.

84" x 100"
Machine quilting by Stover Quality Quilting.